What's astounding about Santa Inferno's debut is that not only is every song unique, each one is a pop masterpiece. This is a band that refuses to take the road most traveled, but does not renounce harmony and melody for mere outlandishness. They deftly circumvent pigeonholing, marrying that tireless inventiveness to unrelentingly contagious songwriting.
Here is a group possessed by the muse but not at her mercy; drunk with their own power yet never corrupted by it. From "Christina," a chilled disco ode to fresh love, to "Chillin' Here," the haunting transcript of imminent heartbreak; from the exhilarating new wave duet "So Many Cows" (featuring Animik of Los Angeles-based Animik and the Elements) to the sophisticated neo-country of "Death"; from the aching acoustic sparseness of "The Drive Home" to the utterly gorgeous and devastating finale, "Horse's Ear," Wonderland of Smut plays out like a retrospective Number One Hits compilation of a group that's been churning out richly heterogeneous albums for thirty years. At a tender young age, Santa Inferno would seem to have mastered both sides of the creative process.